Fresh out of university, the first important task people undertake is to find a good job. Then they work hard to rise in their careers and carve out successful lives. But sometimes, people consider switching careers midway, either because they have found a different calling, or they are looking for newer challenges. Changing careers midway is not an easy task, but it is definitely achievable with the right thinking and strategy.
Challenges in Career Shift
The main reason employers hesitate in hiring career changers is that they lack industry experience. In such a scenario, a temporary job in the target sector could help them obtain basic work experience, to ease the transition to a new career. Access to income during the transition period is another key benefit of temping. We discuss how temping could facilitate a crossover into a new career of your choice.
1. Work Experience in Target Industry
If you are looking to switch careers midway, a temporary job in the target industry will help you gain some industry knowledge to make headway in your new career. Employers are generally reluctant to hire experienced candidates with no industry knowledge as they need to spend money on training while also paying them high salaries. Despite the transferability of certain skills, gaining sectoral knowledge and insight can take up to several months. In this scenario, a temporary job can help you understand the fundamentals of the industry, making you a more desirable candidate to employers.
2. Temp vs Perm Roles
Employers prefer to hire candidates with no direct experience in the industry, in a temp role rather than a permanent role. Why? Because it is easier for them to terminate the agreement if the move doesn’t work out.
Terminating a perm is usually a protracted process, and there are provisions under the UAE Labour Law by which an employee could seek compensation if the termination is unlawful. Compared to this, a temporary employment offers benefits to both the employer and the employee. The employee gets to hone their skills and stack up experience, while the employer isn’t obligated to offer the same benefits that come with long-term employment. Smart candidates make use of this to take up temping to make inroads into the target sector.
3. Temp-to-Hire Opportunity
A temp-to-hire opportunity works much the same way for a temporary employee as a probation period works for a regular employee in a job. The temporary employee is attached with the company for a certain period of time—say three to six months—with the possibility of being permanently hired at the end of the tenure. During that time, they remain in employment with the staffing agency which places them in a contractual assignment with the company.
For the employee, it is a win-win situation. A temp-to-hire opportunity usually lasts six months—much longer than a regular temporary assignment, which usually lasts one to two months. Second, the employee could be offered an extension or be permanently hired at the end of the temp-to-hire period. In the event of an extension, they get another opportunity to further hone their skills and prove themselves to the manager. In the event they are neither given an extension nor placed on the permanent rolls, they continue working under the employment of the staffing agency, having gained more industry experience, and better prepared for a successful foray into the target industry.
4. Networking Opportunities
Today, the job scenario is as much about building networks as about executing tasks on the work front. In this regard, a temporary job provides for excellent networking opportunities to anyone wanting to switch careers. As a temporary employee, you could be working for multiple companies which could put you in touch with professionals. They could refer you for job opportunities across several places, even recommending you to their friends and acquaintances in other companies for a suitable role.
Smart Career Move
While a temporary job does not offer the benefits of full-time employment, it is possibly the best option for career changers. It allows the jobseeker to gain experience, new skills, forge connections, as well as the opportunity to be hired permanently through a temp-to-hire programme. Employers usually prefer hiring those who have some experience of working in their industry. If you are thinking of changing your career midway, temping could be a smart career move to take you where you want.
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